I've been writing a lot about tea lately. Just inspired I suppose, but tea for me has always been a way of life.
My aunt brought over some Japanese green tea, ryokucha. The brewing process is very different . . . she even brought me a teapot for it. You see, you need a shockingly fine filter inside to run the water through . . . it's essentially an instant extraction of the tea. The leaves are fragments really, showing the most brilliant green colour. Even the tea it yields stays green, without ever browning from oxidation. My aunt taught me this phrase in Japanese that I've already forgotten. It refers to this textural feeling the best tea gives you, as if there's a cloud in your mouth.
Ryokucha has the most amazing effect on the palate. Rich, structured, and so fragrant - these teas have the most amazing combination of freshness and power. So tannic, yet retaining a delicacy that's so singular. And that texture . . . thick almost, cloudy certainly, unparalleled intensity. Tea ceremony and all that bullshit aside, ryokucha is special. And above all, it must be consumed fresh, so I'm already looking forward to when I'm going to get my next batch.